**New T owner** Struggling to keep humidity and temperature consistent. *HELP*

namaslayy666

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Nov 4, 2020
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Hey all!

I am very new to being a tarantula owner. I have a Brachypelma smithi, Mexican red knee, almost two inches in length. I have had him a little over four months now. He had successfully completed one molt since being in my care. When I first got him it was warm and fairly humid in the summer months. I find I am struggling to keep his temperature and humidity at the recommended amount, according to care sheets, and I worry he is uncomfortable or having difficulty molting again. His last molt was a month after I got him, now three months ago. He has shown the tell tale signs of another molt for almost two months now. (Lethargic, barely eating, bald spot, etc.) I live in Colorado and it is getting progressively colder here and very dry. I have set a space heater in the room he resides at 70 degrees and have been misting his cage everyday to keep the humidity above 40. (He has a shallow water dish and will eat a cricket maybe 1 every two weeks.) When I do not mist his substrate it falls to about 30 in humidity and heat stays around 70 sometimes dipping to almost 60 if heater is not on. (I do not use a heat lamp or heat mat)

My question is if I am going about this in the right way? I do not want to overwhelm him or make him uncomfortable. Do you have any advice for a new T owner to ensure he is being kept after properly?

I have attached images of his enclosure, current temps, humidity, and his rump for reference. Please help, am I overthinking?
 

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DomGom TheFather

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Forget about care sheets and humidity.
Stop misting.
It isn't in premolt but has lost a bit of hair. Probably stressed.
You could definitely downsize the enclosure.
It's very normal for them to refuse food for long periods of time.
 

spideyspinneret78

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Humidity isn't that important honestly. And as for temperature, tarantulas are generally comfortable at room temperatures. B. smithi is also a very hardy, resilient species and I wouldn't worry too much. If you're going off of care sheets, I'd disregard that info. A lot of them are outdated, inaccurate, and have been written by people who have little experience with tarantulas. One thing I would change about your setup though would be to add more substrate. This species likes to make burrows and if the tarantula falls from the top of the tank, it could injure itself.
 

namaslayy666

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Will the lower humidity effect his molt? It drops significantly when I do not mist his enclosure.
 

spideyspinneret78

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Will the lower humidity effect his molt? It drops significantly when I do not mist his enclosure.
I wouldn't worry about it. As long as you provide a water dish, your spider should do just fine :)

I'd also stop misting. You don't need to worry so much about the humidity....just provide fresh water in a dish so the tarantula can drink if it gets thirsty.
 

14pokies

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Temps great, just reading 40% humidity dried my lungs right out lol.. Buy a warm air humidifier it will help heat the room and provide a ton of humidity.. This species doesn't require high humidity though and it should molt just fine in your current conditions.. You can also wet one corner down each week and alternate corners weekly to avoid any mold or mushroom growth.. Great first Tarantula!

Ps throw away that temp/hygro.. They work on a sensitive coil spring dust and water deposits effect them greatly.. Honestly man go by room temp for your T. 70-90 is acceptable.
 

namaslayy666

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Forget about care sheets and humidity.
Stop misting.
It isn't in premolt but has lost a bit of hair. Probably stressed.
You could definitely downsize the enclosure.
It's very normal for them to refuse food for long periods of time.

He is not in premolt in your opinion? I will definitely take your advice to heart, I did have him in a smaller enclosure originally, however thought it was too small I will revert back to the smaller one and add more substrate.
 

DomGom TheFather

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He is not in premolt in your opinion? I will definitely take your advice to heart, I did have him in a smaller enclosure originally, however thought it was too small I will revert back to the smaller one and add more substrate.
That booty is pink. Probably won't be molting any time soon.
A spider that size will be more comfortable in something like a critter keeper.
 

Smotzer

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He is not in premolt in your opinion? I will definitely take your advice to heart, I did have him in a smaller enclosure originally, however thought it was too small I will revert back to the smaller one and add more substrate.
Hopefully youve stopped misting! and you know to stop worrying about humidity. You can overflow the water dish occasionally if you want.

About the enclosure size thing, tarantulas do not need a lot of space, they in nature stick to their small hides and burrows, they naturally want to feel secure. Downsizing the enclosure will also help with ease of feeding. probably 1/4 of the size you have would still be appropriate hard to judge its size exactly.
 

namaslayy666

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Temps great, just reading 40% humidity dried my lungs right out lol.. Buy a warm air humidifier it will help heat the room and provide a ton of humidity.. This species doesn't require high humidity though and it should molt just fine in your current conditions.. You can also wet one corner down each week and alternate corners weekly to avoid any mold or mushroom growth.. Great first Tarantula!

Ps throw away that temp/hygro.. They work on a sensitive coil spring dust and water deposits effect them greatly.. Honestly man go by room temp for your T. 70-90 is acceptable.

Thank you for your advice!
 
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Tarantulafeets

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Like everyone else said, no need for humidity or misting in the tank, just provide a water dish. Also, is the top of the tank screen mesh? If so, I would change it to drilled acrylic immediately, as their feet can get stuck and they can hang to their deaths. But you are going to rehouse it so it should be fine. ;)
 

cold blood

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Humidity is NOT relevant...period.

Temps just need to be between 65 and 95....there is no specific temp requirement.

Just keep water in the dish, its really that simple.

My t room has a space heater running like 9 months of the year...my humidity in my room hovers around 10%....it poses no problems for any of the hundred plus species i keep...they molt, and even reproduce without issue.

When a t molts, the mousture the t needs, comes from within...which is why pre molt is a common time for a t to drink.
 

namaslayy666

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That booty is pink. Probably won't be molting any time soon.
A spider that size will be more comfortable in something like a critter keeper.
Will a critter keeper lid pose an issue with getting his legs stuck if he climbs? Should I go for a small full acrylic enclosure instead?
 

DomGom TheFather

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Will a critter keeper lid pose an issue with getting his legs stuck if he climbs? Should I go for a small full acrylic enclosure instead?
Either way.
I have never had any issues with critter keepers.
As long as it's an appropriate size, you could keep it in a sterilite bin.
 

Rigor Mortis

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I’d also like to point out that refusing food is not 100% a telltale sign of premoult. Sometimes a T just doesn’t eat if you feed it but the next time you try it will eat. They’re weird. Especially with this species, a spider of this size will not moult once and moult again 3-4 months later, ime. And also kicking hairs/having a bald spot has NOTHING to do with premoult. Absolutely nothing. It just means the spider has locked hairs. Zero indication of premoult however it does make it wonderfully easy to see when your spider IS going to moult because that bald spot will turn black.
 

spideyspinneret78

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Almost all of my tarantulas are in critter keepers and I've never once had an issue with them. What poses the hazard is that their claws can easily get stuck in mesh lids....not so much in critter keepers with the plastic vents.
 

namaslayy666

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Humidity is NOT relevant...period.

Temps just need to be between 65 and 95....there is no specific temp requirement.

Just keep water in the dish, its really that simple.

My t room has a space heater running like 9 months of the year...my humidity in my room hovers around 10%....it poses no problems for any of the hundred plus species i keep...they molt, and even reproduce without issue.

When a t molts, the mousture the t needs, comes from within...which is why pre molt is a common time for a t to drink.
Thank you I will keep this in mind! I tend to be a bit neurotic and reading these responses I am clearly overthinking his care.
 

spideyspinneret78

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It's okay. It's hard not to worry sometimes, because their needs and behavior are so vastly different from ours. As time goes on and you get used to what your little guy needs, you won't feel so worried. One of the best things about having tarantulas is that it's almost like watching a little alien go about its business, completely unaware that's being observed. They're fascinating creatures! And when in doubt, remember that they know how to be a spider much better than a human does. They have millions of years of experience.
 

namaslayy666

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It's okay. It's hard not to worry sometimes, because their needs and behavior are so vastly different from ours. As time goes on and you get used to what your little guy needs, you won't feel so worried. One of the best things about having tarantulas is that it's almost like watching a little alien go about its business, completely unaware that's being observed. They're fascinating creatures! And when in doubt, remember that they know how to be a spider much better than a human does. They have millions of years of experience.

Thank you! I really appreciate your advice and outlook, it will really impact how I move forward with his care.

Thank you everyone for your advice and input, I will absolutely be taking these necessary steps to adjust his current living situation. I will post updates as well moving forward! :D
 

Matt Man

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if you are comfortable, your Ts are probably fine. Humidity, as shown here, is an over rated worry. Give them a water dish and over fill it so the dirt around it gets moist. That's it. K.I.S.S. is the T handler mantra
 
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